French Salad Dressings

4 Recipe Variations from Classic to Spicy plus an Easy Ketchup Recipe to Make Your Own

Sorry folks, your version of the ketchup-based “French Dressing” is not French at all! Interestingly, French dressing is a term originally used for an oil-and-vinegar-based salad dressing. But in the United States during the 1950s, manufactured “French dressing” was developed. The term has come to mean the manufactured version, which is sweet in taste and colored red from the use of paprika and tomatoes. The world now LOVES this tangy-sweet dressing with the taste and smell of fresh tomatoes—well that is, if you make it yourself!

Much cheaper to make, homemade French dressing in its various forms tastes better and packed full of healthy nutrients. And let’s face it; if you are going to pour it on a veggie-packed salad, shouldn’t it be healthy as well? There are a number of variations on the classic tomato-based dressing including Catalina so we have 4 recipes for you to choose from classic to spicy. Just a note: if olive oil is used, refrigerated dressing may need microwaved a few seconds to thin it to its original consistency or you can allow it to set out 1/2 hour before serving.

There is also a Ketchup recipe for you to try your hand at if you want to meet maximum freshness! We will be unveiling our tested and perfected ketchup dry mix recipe made with tomato powder in the Sauces Recipe Series as well so stay tuned.

Try French dressing on mixed greens, sliced vegetables, such as tomatoes and cucumbers, or drizzled on baked fish. Brushing or marinating meats and fish in French dressing before grilling is the bomb! For a tangy treat, try this dressing in your pasta salads, potato salad, or tuna salad as well. I especially love it over pineapple chunks mixed with apples and pecans. This can be used as a sweet-n-sour sauce or fresh fruit (especially citrus) dip as well.

• Herbs may be purchased or home-dried. Blends may be purchased or homemade as well. See specific links below in the ingredient lists. Your dehydrated seasonings give this salad dressing premiere taste and convenience.
Lower Sugar option: If you wish to use your tomato powder for these recipes for a lower sugar option, it DOES work well. To make 1 cup to replace “ketchup”: 5 tablespoons tomato powder in a Pyrex cup with hot water to the 1 cup measure line. Stir with a fork and allow to thicken for 5-10 minutes.

Classic French Salad Dressing

Makes 2-1/2 cups

1 cup vegetable oil
1 cup ketchup
1/2 cup honey
1/4 cup white vinegar
1/4 cup water
1-1/2 teaspoons garlic salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon paprika


  1. Put all ingredients in blender or food processor (or use an immersion blender); blend until well mixed.
  2. Use immediately or transfer to an airtight container and store in refrigerator for up to two weeks.

Creamy French Salad Dressing

Makes 3 cups

1 cup ketchup
1/2 cup dried, chopped onion
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/3 cup red wine vinegar
1/3 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon salt


  1. Place all ingredients in a blender or food processor (or use an immersion blender). Purée until onion is completely chopped.
  2. Use immediately or transfer to an airtight container and store in refrigerator for up to two weeks.

Spicy French Salad Dressing

Makes 3 cups

This is a very tasty homemade French dressing with a hint of smoky fire and interesting flavors. It is actually my favorite (and the easiest) French Dressing recipe.

1 cup white sugar
1 cup ketchup
1 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup white vinegar
1 tablespoon fresh chives or 1 teaspoon dried, minced chives
1 tablespoon celery seed or 1 teaspoon celery powder
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon hot pepper sauce
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon liquid smoke flavoring


  1. In a one quart jar, combine all ingredients, cover, and shake well.
  2. Refrigerate at least 1 hour before serving.
  3. Store in refrigerator for up to two weeks.

Catalina Salad Dressing

Makes 2 cups

1 cup vegetable oil
1 cup ketchup
3/4 cup white sugar
1/3 cup vinegar
1 tablespoon dried, minced onion
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon celery seed or 1/3 teaspoon celery powder
1 teaspoon paprika (I love smoked paprika in this one)


  1. Place all ingredients in a blender or food processor (or use an immersion blender). Purée until onion is completely chopped.
  2. Use immediately or transfer to an airtight container and store in refrigerator for up to two weeks.



  • If you like it a little spicier, replace the paprika with chili powder.
  • This dressing is delicious on taco salad.
    Adding 1/4 teaspoon cumin and 1 teaspoon dried cilantro will amp up the South-of the Border taste for your taco salads.

Homemade Heinz® Ketchup

Makes 1-1/2 cups (12 ounces)

If you choose to make your own ketchup it is easy to do. We will be listing our recipes with tomato powder as well in this series. With its rich, fresh taste, you will have a whole new enjoyment of this delicious sauce. This recipe is close to the Heinz® Tomato Ketchup recipe I ate as a child, cheaper than store-bought, and tastes great.

1 (8 ounce) can tomato sauce
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons white vinegar
1/8 cup balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup water
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 teaspoon seasoned salt
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder


  1. Combine all ingredients in a medium saucepan over medium heat.
  2. Stir and bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes, stirring often.
  3. Remove from heat and cover until cooled, about 1 hour.
  4. Keep in an airtight container in refrigerator for up to 1 month.

Which French Salad Dressings in our series have you tried? What was YOUR favorite?

©2017 21st Century Simple Living

10 thoughts on “French Salad Dressings

  1. Diane C Bush says:

    I have longed for Catalina dressing and am so thankful to see this! I may sub honey for the sugar, but at present, my mouth is drooling and I can’t wait for supper! (salad, of course with catalina dressing)

    1. Admin says:

      That will be delicious with the honey. You may need to use less water though 🙂

  2. Josal Docimo says:

    Thanks so much for your generosity in sharing all your hard work. I will have to modify these to fit my new food guidelines but am so grateful for the hard work you are sharing with us. 🙂

    1. Admin says:

      I have one more recipe for your diet change that I was going to do today, but I have run out of steam…lol

  3. Tessa says:

    In the ketchup recipe you have sugar listed twice, are both amounts granulated sugar or is the 1 Tbs brown sugar or a typo? I love this salad dressing series and can’t wait to see what else you have come up with. Thank you so much for all the great recipes.

    1. Admin says:

      You are right. Thank you so much for spotting that !!! 1 tablespoon brown sugar. The article has been corrected thanks to you 🙂

      Glad you are enjoying the Series. Stay tuned for more !!!

      1. Tessa says:

        I thought it was probably brown. Thanks for all your hard work and time it’s greatly appreciated and saves me a lot of time and experimenting since you are willing to share yours.

        1. Admin says:

          Anytime Tessa 🙂

  4. Pam Hartley says:

    Thank you so much!

    1. Admin says:

      You are most welcome my friend 🙂

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